In fitting with this year's Pride theme, the Mercury decided to have two employees—Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey and Office Manager Brad Buckner—"bring it." Who is gayer: Brad, a disheveled homosexual from Lincoln, Nebraska, or Steve, a flamboyant husband (to a lady) and father (not by artificial insemination) from Gadsden, Alabama? Read on...


Even if you are (like me) an expert on "homo-osity," a referee enters all contests with preconceived notions about the competitors (as we all witnessed during the 1983 Stanley Cup finals). Thus, since I've known both competitors for years, I figured I had these two fags pegged (so to speak).

Brad, essentially a slob with his untucked shirt and untrimmed goatee, is so not-gay that he's flaming. On the other hand, Steve is so faggy you'd think he'd sprung from Judy Garland's loins. My prediction: Steve is so gay, he's not gay. While Steve is busy pastelling everything from his new Miata to his meticulously mowed ear hair, how can he possibly find time to lick other men's assholes? Thus, I will prove that Brad is more of a knob-gobbler.


The competition hinged on four different "events": a comparison of the participants' record collections, assessments of their workspaces, an evaluation of their (hand-selected) gayest underwear, and a homo quiz. Should a tie arise, the decision would be made via a "Tossed Salad-Off," officiated, of course, by yours truly.


With the exception of the homo quiz, very little of the experiment involved interaction with the subjects. Rather, I simply observed their behavior, assessed their surroundings, and scrolled through their iPods.

The first test involved an examination of their music collections. Brad received gayness points on his inclusion of Aimee Mann, Amy Winehouse, Edith Piaf, and Of Montreal. As it turned out, though, Steve swept Brad off his light loafers. Trouncing his adversary by eight gay points, Steve scored high for Extreme and Color Me Badd (not to mention the Backstreet Boys and Alicia Keys). Current Score: Steve: 1, Brad: 0.

The following test compared the office spaces of the two. Steve did well in this category, achieving high marks for his posters of Zac Efron and Ashlee Simpson, not to mention a black-and-white photo of himself on his bulletin board. Having painted his office walls a bluish sea-foam ranked high, but it wasn't enough to topple Brad's numbers. Although somewhat disorganized, Brad's space was gay gay gay. Immediately, I noticed three publications: a newspaper folded to bring attention to an ad for the Blue Man Group, a Portland Monthly magazine opened to a review of a "wine bistro," and a Crate & Barrel catalog. Further, a male's phone number tacked to one of his walls and a magenta mouse pad on Brad's desk overwhelmed the framed photo of David Hasselhoff behind Steve's desk. Current Score: Steve: 1, Brad: 1.

Then came the underwear exam. Brad's collection included briefs from American Apparel—in light blue and dark blue—as well as numerous boxer briefs. Steve, favored in this category, easily triumphed. Not only were all of his pieces tight pastel-y nylon briefs, but featured homoerotic phrases on the front (such as "Home of the Whopper") and on the back ("Fools Rush In... So Why Don't You?"). Current Score: Steve: 2, Brad: 1.

It all came down to the quiz. I formulated a two-part written test, compiled from my vast knowledge of Homo Language and Literature (Vassar College, MA, '74). The first part dealt with traditional gay culture: Cher, Spice Girls, and America's Next Top Model. The second, also traditionally gay culture: facial hair, rim jobs, and sports teams. (Take the test in our Feature section for yourself!) Damn, this one was a squeaker (or squealer?), coming down to one point. And, with a score of 24 to 23, Steve emerged victoriously on this test. Moreover, he extended his lead over Brad in the whole gay scheme of things.

Final Score: Steve: 3, Brad: 1.


As it turns out, things are how they seem. Steve's limp wrist and his high-pitched twang do translate to being more flaming than the Hindenburg. Furthermore, as is commonly known, Steve's über-gayness also translates into his dick being considerably larger than Brad's. In conclusion, although my hypothesis was incorrect, I thankfully never had to endure the "Tossed Salad-Off." (Unless, of course, the Mercury's adorable art director, Mark, would like to participate?)